Sara - posted on 06/26/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )
Hello all. Just joined. :)
My daughter and I are living overseas. As we are still getting settled in we don't have a car, and she isn't at daycare yet. She spent a few months at her grandmother's while I came over here to get things started and... I am afraid it was entirely too long. She now thinks that it is normal and expected that she will be the center of everyone's world all of the time. And while she definitely is our world, we cannot constantly entertain her the way her grandmother did. I cannot give her the attention that a family of five gave her- I am only one person. I also cannot give her chocolate chip pancakes every morning, do everything she demands without asking her to ask nicely- and a few other... undesirable habits she has picked up while there.
She is my first, and will probably be my only. I have been blessed to have the most relaxed and well mannered child, without having to really put a lot of work into it- and now I am left unsure how to encourage her to go back to playing on her own (and not be so bossy with everyone) so I can get things done, without a tantrum, or her new trick of laying the most effective guilt trip known to mankind. It is like she has forgotten how to play! And it is putting a huge strain on me.
I am not happy with being stuck in the house as much as we are, and I am sure she is not. But this is just the way it is now and we need to find some ways to stay entertained without relying on the TV. I tried setting up a schedule that would mimic school- we worked on numbers, letters, drawing.. she loved it! But we didn't get very far before she started in with "But grandma let me..." And I had to resist the urge to finish for her with "Let you eat so much junk your pediatrician gave us a stern lecture....?" and "Let you do whatever you want and seems to have actively encouraged you to order people instead of asking nicely.." and it just devolved from there. I'll admit it, I'm a weak mommy. I don't feel prepared for this new challenge and I need help. I've never had to set up rules and be firm with her before and I don't know what's acceptable.
My biggest worry is I will be *too* strict with her. I find myself telling her to go to her room when she's been sassy, or just stop talking all together for a while when she continually interupts people when they're talking, and just basically taking a "well you're SOL" attitude with her when she says she's bored. Obviously these things are not working. She's highly intelligent. Her last well child apt revealed she is actually on par with a ten year old socially and emotionally. So most of the "tricks" I seem to remember my mom using don't work.
Sorry for the lengthy post. If anyone has any ideas or resources to point me to I'd greatly appreciate it!